What is the King James translation of the Bible? How did it come to be? Why do people still read it today?
The King James Bible and the Restoration explores these questions. It tells of the KJC's origins, the texts from which it was translated, the major characters involved in its creation, and its story to the present. But this book explores other questions as well:
What is the relationship between the King James Bible and the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? What has been its lasting legacy in Mormonism?
The King James Bible turned four hundred years old in 2011. To commemorate that milestone, the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University held a symposium in which scholars looked at the KJV from a Latter-day Saint perspective. The papers that were presented make up most of the chapters in this book, along with others that round out the collection.
William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536), the father of the English Bible, created the English translation from which the King James Bible derives. His work was taken by others and edited and reprinted for eight decades until King James I directed that a new Bible be prepared—not strictly a new translation but a revision of previous English Bibles. The result, published in 1611, was the most carefully produced English Bible to date. The translators, among whom were the best Hebrew and Greek scholars in Britain, retained the vast majority of Tyndale's words, his syntax, and his vision for how Hebrew and Greek phrases should appear in English scripture.
The King James Bible and the Restoration emphasizes the power of the words of the KJV and highlights its role in the Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Beginning with the First Vision—an event brought about by reading a verse from the KJV—the King James Bible has had a profound influence on Latter-day Saint scripture, religious language, and worship.
This is a good introduction to some of the outstanding aspects of the KJV. I highly recommend the chapter "William Tyndale and the Language of At-one-ment".
The historical and textural aspects of the KJV are generally well summarized.
This work addresses some criticisms that are duly and unduly levied against the KJV to a limited degree. A good, but short review of other modern english translations appear in the chapter by Gaye Strathearn.
I would recommend additional reading to enhance what you read in this book. I especially recommend reading "Ye and You in the King James Version", John S. Kenyon, PMLA, Vol. 29, No. 3 (1914), p. 465. Kenyon identifies "a very effective biblical trait. In addressing a group, the speaker appears suddenly to address himself to one person singled out from the rest." This supports a comment on page 205 in the chapter "The King Jams Bible and the Joseph Smith Translation" about consistency of the King James translation in using thou, thee, ye and you. It will also provide an alternative view to observation on page 207 that Joseph Smith used thee, thou, ye, and you interchangeably in many Book of Mormon passages (reread the example in the endnote cited on page 207 after reading the biblical examples in Kenyon's article).